Contemporary calls for leaders who are authentic due to heightened self-awareness cannot be answered unless that includes the ways in which leadership involves both mind and body awareness. Contemporary calls for more inclusive leadership cannot be answered without an awareness of the ways in which our understanding of leadership has been constituted by a dominant performative discourse that is white and male (even when not enacted by white males), heterosexual, and fully able.
This volume seeks to explore the notion that leadership is both a discursive practice and a performative identity that is situated in a body that not only thinks, but moves, acts, has emotions and desires, ages, experiences, hurts, and senses. This idea moves leadership beyond the intellectual functions such as visioning, strategizing, and persuading, and the actions that emanate from the intellectual realm, and situates leadership firmly in a corporality that is raced, gendered, cultured, sexual, instinctual, and emotional. It suggests that leadership itself is an embodied text that can be “read” to discover personal and cultural meaning. Indeed, anthropologist Victor Turner suggested that it is through performance situated in the body that we not only reveal meaning, but reveal ourselves to ourselves and others.
Keywords: Management / Leadership